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"Look, children," one teacher said to her assembled class as they toured the informational tables and booths, "these famous white men didn't go to prison, but these ordinary black and brown people are locked up for the same use of illegal drugs."

If your group can use this display in your public education projects, contact us at (509) 684-1550 or supplies©

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Expose drug war hypocrisy with a Four That Got Away display

Imagine these familiar faces at a public event. The happy faces in the Four That Got Away Display -- George W. Bush, Al Gore, Newt Gingrich, and Bill Clinton contrast sharply with the outrageous prison sentences of ordinary people.

Using the display is easy. Visually powerful, it will help you, or your group educate others about drug war hypocrisy.

The Four That Got Away Broadside is sure to make an impact with your audience. Use alone, or with the full display.

Insert a Four That Got Away Broadside in your bill payments, correspondence to friends and family, or set up an informational table and hand them out to the public.

Download and print your own Broadside!

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This campaign was inspired by The DC Action Committee.

"Four that got away"
across the country

Miami, FL, 2/20/07 - photo by Chrystal Weaver

Ft, Benning, GA, Nov 06 - photo by Fr. Tom Hereford

Durham, NC, June 06 - photo by LaFonda Jones

Laguna Beach, CA, 5/14/05 - photo by Rachel Morton

The Message? Not in prison, in power!

When the rich and politically connected buy and use illegal drugs, they rarely face criminal sanctions. In the United States it's "alive and in graduate school" for one class of citizens - prison and stigma for another.

It wasn't until a major news reporter said that G.W. Bush "certainly did drugs until 1974"(1), that the presidential candidate told reporters he "had not used illegal drugs for the past 25 years."(2)

Few have forgotten Bill Clinton's MTV, "I didn't inhale, didn't try it again . . . but I wish I had," lines.

Al Gore admits to illegal drug use in college and the Army. A co-worker, and close friend at the Tennessean newspaper, supported allegations of regular recreational marijuana use by Gore.(3)

The most candid admission of past illegal drug use is from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who declared, "Smoking marijuana was a sign we were alive and in graduate school in that era." (4) Today he is a 'senior fellow' with the American Enterprise Institute.

These four men, equally representing Democrats and Republicans, used their political office to intensify the war on drugs by broadening police powers, search and seizure, and mandatory prison sentences. Each are responsible for expanding prosecutorial authority - all at the cost of ordinary citizens' civil liberties.

When Bush dodged questions of illegal drug use he said people could "go find somebody else to vote for" and that "voters are weary of the politics of personal destruction."(5)

Why must ordinary people's families be destroyed by drug arrest and imprisonment?

The drug war has produced millions upon millions of life-long felons. Today, on any given day in our country there are over two million prisoners.

Incarceration rates of the last 25 years have made the United States the world's leading jailer. The U.S. imprisons its citizens at rates three to ten times higher than other democratic societies. Punitive drug laws enacted in the 1980s, and to the present, have resulted in 25% of all prisoners in the United States serving time for a drug law violation. In the federal system, these people make up about 60% of the prison population.

Many states, struggling to balance their budgets, are beginning to release drug war and other nonviolent prisoners early. Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is growing faster than any state prison system in the country, with no parole or hope of early release.


1. Nicholas Kristoff, NY Times reporter who profiled Bush in a series of articles for the paper, 8/1/00 on NPR's Fresh Air
2. John Affleck, Associated Press; 8/26/99
3. Laura Frank and Sheila Wissner, The Tennessean; 1/28/00
4. Hilary Stout, Wall Street Journal; 8/8/96
5. Michael Holmes, Abilene Reporter-News (TX); 8/19/99

Dummy text detail - Politicians

President George W. Bush: Did President Bush use drugs? - "George W. Bush certainly did drugs until 1974." - Source: Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times reporter who profiled Bush in a series of articles for the paper; 8/1/00 on NPR's Fresh Air.

President Bill Clinton: "When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two and didn't like it." - President Bill Clinton - Sources: MTV and Michael Holmes, 8/19/99, Abilene Reporter-News, TX

Vice-President Al Gore: "During my junior and senior year in college, [marijuana] was looked at in the same way moonshine was looked at during Prohibition days." - Vice-President Al Gore - Source: Newsweek, 11/16/87

House Speaker Newt Gingrich: "Smoking marijuana was a sign we were alive and in graduate school in that era." - Rep. Newt Gingrich - Source: Hillary Stout, 8/8/96, Wall Street Journal

Dummy text detail - Prisoners

(Click on a prisoner's name to read their story on The WALL.)

Beth Cronan: 28 years, Meth Conspiracy

John E. Clark: 19 1/2 years, Drug Conspiracy

Jose Del Toro: Life in Prison, Meth Conspiracy

Rudy Howell: 25 years, Meth Conspiracy

Seth Ferranti: 25 years, Marijuana and LSD Conspiracy

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